Yokogawa Launches OpreX Robot Management Core

Author photo: Nobuaki Konishi
ByNobuaki Konishi
Company and Product News

Yokogawa Electric Corporation announces the development and release of OpreX Robot Management Core, a software application in the OpreX Asset Management and Integrity family.

OpreX Robot Management Core is a key product in the Yokogawa robot operations solution. By integrating the management of various types of robots that perform plant maintenance tasks conventionally carried out by humans, this software will help customers maintain their facilities in a safer and more efficient manner. In addition, when connected to a plant’s control and safety systems, it enables the utilization of manufacturing site data that has been acquired by robots, and the issuing of procedural instructions to robots, thus enabling the first step to be taken toward autonomous plant operations.

Robot Management

In oil & gas, chemical, and other manufacturing plants, some routine tasks need to be carried out in high-risk locations, such as facility inspection work at heights, in enclosed spaces, and in hazardous environments. The shortage of personnel to operate plant equipment and facilities is also an issue. There is thus a growing need for robots that can move autonomously around plants, take over data collection tasks that have been performed by human personnel, and undertake other tasks that exceed human limitations.

At the same time, in plants that have been designed around people, there is a need for the efficient management of different types of robots to carry out a variety of tasks. In response to this need, Yokogawa began discussions with robot manufacturers in 2019 and in the following year went on to develop a prototype robot management and operations platform that has since been used in proof-of-concept field tests with several customers. Leveraging the experience gained through these tests, Yokogawa has developed this software to make it easier to introduce robots in plants.

OpreX Robot Management Core is a software application that improves safety and efficiency in plant maintenance operations by facilitating the utilization of robots. Depending on customer requirements, it can be provided for use in either an on-premises or cloud environment.

The development of OpreX Robot Management Core enables Yokogawa to fully rollout its robot operations solution aimed at increasing workplace safety. By providing consulting, assistance in the selection and procurement of hardware and software from strategic partners and other sources, and engineering, operational support and other services, Yokogawa is able to help customers resolve issues encountered in their businesses and can develop specific robot and drone applications. Through this one-stop solution, Yokogawa will ensure the reliability, availability, and sustainability of robot operations and help to achieve autonomous plant operations.

Key market industries are Oil & Gas, LNG, and petrochemicals. Plant field patrols, first response in the event of abnormalities and infrastructure inspection, are the examples of assumed application.

In the future, support will be added to the software for a wider selection of robots, as well as drones. Yokogawa will also develop applications that utilize AI technology and enhance functions to enable, among other things, the issuance to robots of instructions that are linked to control system work procedures.

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